Annual Festival of Honor Bands returns Saturday

Ana Mata, Reporter

WSC will host the annual Festival of Honor Bands in Ramsey Theatre on Saturday Jan. 26.

The Festival of Honor Bands is held on the last Saturday of January each year. There are three bands that attend, two high school bands and one junior high band. Students from Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota come together for a full day of rehearsals starting at 8:30 a.m. and the actual concert begins at 4:30 p.m.

Upon arrival at Ramsey Theatre, each student will have to audition again in front of a judge for their chair placements. The auditions consist of scales and excerpts. After a few hours, when all the auditions are completed, students will be sorted into sections by their directors.
“For the audition process, schools get audition etudes from the Festival of Honor Bands section on the site,” said Alex Wieland, Wayne High School band director. “Junior high students need to begin the audition with a chromatic scale throughout the individual’s full range, including mallet players, while snare and timpani auditions begin with a long roll.”

Wieland explained that once the students are done with that they play the audition etude depending on the instrument. High school students will begin their audition with concert C and A flat scales throughout the individual’s full range, including mallets.

“Snare drum auditions begin with a single paradiddle and timpani auditions begin with a single stroke roll,” Wieland said. “After those are complete, students play their audition etude.”
For students to participate, they must go through a lengthy process. WSC has the rules and criteria posted online for those interested in participating.

High school and junior high students have different criteria they must complete in their auditions. Students must pick from the list of songs provided by WSC and play them with all stated criteria met.

“The audition process was a little nerve wracking,” freshman flutist Megan Huberty said. “Going into honor band this weekend, I am really nervous that I am going to get lost on the campus. I am scared because I don’t know anyone, but I know this is a good thing for me.”

Huberty said it will open her eyes and help her to see how the college environment is. It will also help her meet new people.

“This will be my first time [participating] for Wayne,” Huberty said.

The festival is open to the public with an entrance fee of just $5. Participating students must pay a $5 audition fee per instrument. Students may also audition with more than one instrument, but they must pay $5 for each instrument they bring. There is also a $15 festival fee for applicants that are chosen to perform with the honor bands. The $15 fee will cover lunch in the cafeteria for students during their break.